Sightseeing Guide

Sightseeing Guide License Application Checklist

Translated Checklists in PDF

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COVID-19 ALERT

For health and safety reasons, the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Licensing Center and NYC Small Business Support Center cannot serve walk-ins, but you can schedule an appointment to submit your license application in person. See Application Filing Process section.

Note: As in-person service is limited, we encourage you to use our online service which is available 24/7.

Who Must Have a Sightseeing Guide License?

You must have a Sightseeing Guide license to guide or direct people to any place or point of public interest or to describe, explain, or lecture about any place or point of public interest to any person in connection with any sightseeing trip or tour within the city.

Sightseeing Guide applicants must be at least 18 years old.

This description is only a general explanation of who must have a Sightseeing Guide license.

Quick List of Requirements to Apply for a Sightseeing Guide License

See Requirements section for detailed descriptions. Make sure you provide all requirements; otherwise, your application is incomplete. DCWP can only consider complete applications for license issuance.

  • Basic Individual License Application
  • Photo Identification (ID) of License Applicant
  • One Current Color Passport-size Photograph of License Applicant
  • Sightseeing Guide Exam and $50 Exam Fee
  • Granting Authority to Act Affirmation (if applicable)
  • License Fee

Submitting your application does not mean your license is automatically approved.

Additional City or State Permits/Licenses/Clearances You May Need

A business must have a DCWP Sightseeing Bus license to drive a vehicle that carries eight or more paying passengers to places of interest or amusement or for a specific or special trip from a starting point within New York City.

This is not meant to be a complete list. See Additional Resources section.

Requirements

DCWP will deny your application if you do not submit these required documents and information:

  • Photo Identification (ID) of License Applicant
    Acceptable forms of ID include:
    • Driver’s license or non-driver’s license identification issued by any state in the U.S
    • License or permit issued by a government agency
    • Passport
    • Alien card/green card
    • City, State, or Federal employee ID card
    • Municipal ID card
  • One Current Color Passport-size Photograph of License Applicant.
    In Person: DCWP will photograph license applicants at no cost in the DCWP Licensing Center. Applicants can also submit a current color passport-size photograph.

    Online: License applicants can upload an image file of digital passport photo quality. A digital camera with a resolution of 1 mega-pixel is adequate.
  • Sightseeing Guide Exam and Exam Fee
    For applicants who have not passed a Sightseeing Guide Exam since March 2018:
    You must schedule an appointment to take the Sightseeing Guide Exam at the DCWP Licensing Center between 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. The exam consists of 150 questions. You must answer a minimum of 97 questions correctly to pass. The $50 exam fee is separate from the license fee and is nonrefundable. If you fail the exam twice, you must pay the exam fee again in order to retake the exam.

    Download Study Reference to help you prepare for the exam.
  • Granting Authority to Act Affirmation (download Affirmation).
    Required if someone other than the license applicant will prepare and submit this application.
    Note: The applicant must sign the license application and all related forms.
  • License Fee.
    License Period: 2 years | Expiration Date: March 31, Even Years.
If You File Your Application Between These Dates: License Fee Option 1 License Fee Option 2
From April 1 in an even year to September 30 in an even year Pay $50 for a license expiring March 31 of the next even year. (Valid for at most 24 months.) N/A
From October 1 in an even year to March 31 in an odd year Pay $38 for a license expiring March 31 of the soonest even year.(Valid for at most 18 months.) N/A
From April 1 in an odd year to September 30 in an odd year Pay $25 for a license expiring March 31 of the soonest even year. (Valid for at most 12 months.) N/A
From October 1 in an odd year to March 31 in an even year Pay $13 for a license expiring March 31 of the soonest or same even year. (Valid for at most 6 months.) Pay $63 for a license expiring March 31 of the following even year. (Valid for at most 30 months.)

 
Pay by:

○ Check or money order payable to DCWP. (In person)
○ Credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover Card only).
  You will be charged a nonrefundable Convenience Fee. (In person or online)

Application Filing Process

File Online

  1. Review requirements and gather all materials before clicking the button below. The online service is available using a laptop or desktop computer only.
  2. If you haven’t registered an account with the City of New York, you will need to register an account before you can proceed to the online application.
  3. After you submit the online application, follow the instructions on the confirmation page. DCWP cannot process incomplete applications.
  4. Important: If you need to file another license application, return to the Apply for a DCWP License page to read requirements and proceed to the next online application.

Apply Online Button

OR

File In Person
Schedule an appointment to file in person at the DCWP Licensing Center or NYC Small Business Support Center

DCWP LICENSING CENTER
42 Broadway, Lobby
New York, NY 10004

By Appointment Only Hours:
Monday-Thursday: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Last appointment: 3:30 p.m.
NYC SMALL BUSINESS SUPPORT CENTER
90-27 Sutphin Blvd, 4th Floor
Jamaica, NY 11435

By Appointment Only Hours:
Tuesday, Thursday: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Last appointment: 3:30 p.m.

 
By Email: LicensingAppointments@dca.nyc.gov
By Phone*: Call (212) 436-0441. (Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.)

*This number is to schedule an appointment for in-person service only. For general questions, email onlineappsdocs@dca.nyc.gov.

Free Interpretation Services are available on-site. To request a disability-related accommodation, please email DCWP’s Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator at humancapital@dca.nyc.gov or visit our Accommodations page.

Additional Resources for Sightseeing Guides

  • For resources to help your business open, operate, and grow, visit nyc.gov/business.

Get Voter Information
Note: Whether you apply to register to vote or not, it will not affect the assistance DCWP will provide to you.